|   Log In

Music & Culture

Katy Perry: A Singer With a Terrible Message

I was surprised to find out recently from a friend that singer Katy Perry used to be a Christian singer.

This is the same Katy Perry whose album “Teenage Dream” rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts in 2010. The songs on the album are…ahem…not so Christian. For impressionable young women and men, they can send the wrong message. It makes me question whether Perry has forgotten her Christian roots. It’s as if she doesn’t care anymore about being a good role model.

In the title song of the album,“Teenage Dream,” she sings about letting a guy feel her in her “skin tight jeans” and going all the way on a spontaneous night. Consider these lines, supposedly sung by a teenager to her boyfriend:

Let’s go all the way tonight
No regrets, just love

And later:

We drove to Cali
And got drunk on the beach
Got a motel and
Built a fort out of sheets

Does this sound like the words of a former Christian singer? From what I’ve read, Katy Perry comes from a strong Christian background. She released her first album at 15. Unfortunately the CD didn’t do well and she left her record label for one that was bigger and more commercial.  Did she throw away all of her values along with her positive message? It seems she decided to let the producers decide what type of music she ‘should’ be making.

Her image and her songs are marketed to teenagers and even younger. Yet she apparently has no regard for being a healthy influence. In fact, she recently signed on to be the face of Too-Faced cosmetics with the tagline “One Night Stand.” Hmmm.

The worst of her songs, “Last Friday Night,” glamorizes the idea of getting drunk, breaking the law, passing out, engaging in threesomes….you get the picture. Unfortunately, so do the millions of kids who listen to her.

Here are some of the lyrics from “Last Friday Night”:

There’s a stranger in my bed,

There’s a pounding my head

Glitter all over the room

Pink flamingos in the pool

I smell like a minibar


Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a menage a trois
Last Friday night
Yeah I think we broke the law

This Friday night
Do it all again
This Friday night
Do it all again

It all begs the question: Did Katy Perry sell out?  Does she even care about the message she’s sending to her fans?

Maybe in the future she’ll use her fame to once again circle back to her Christian roots and sing songs that are uplifting, not degrading. I’m hoping she will.

[image: Fanpop]


You must be logged in to post a comment.


  1. Sochi602

    Posted by Sochi602 on September 8, 2015 at 12:10

    I think that if her parents had been a bit more liberal (not extreme or anything) she wouldn’t be so crazy now. The side of religion that she was exposed to often scares people away from the Faith. I can understand where she is coming from but I do hope and pray she will turn back…
    She has such an influence on young girls that if she could turn to her Christian roots, she might be a good influence rather than bad.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by elizey7 on June 26, 2015 at 10:28

    Her parents were so extreme with religion that they wouldn’t let her say the word “Deviled” when talking about deviled eggs….I think she is pretty much justified to do what she is doing. She is not advocating self harm or suicide or imposing any truly negative thoughts on teens. She’s talking about sex which every teenager is thinking about at that age.

    • Godsbabygirl2007

      Posted by Godsbabygirl2007 on September 9, 2015 at 21:29

      She’s glamorizing sex. That’s NOT what someone should be teaching young kids. I was almost 25 when I lost my virginity and honestly it was a mistake. I don’t listen to songs that talk about sex or encourage it and I pray to God my niece doesn’t either. She’s only 3 1/2 right now but she repeats things she hears. She should NOT be encouraging what she does. Just because a teenager is thinking about sex doesn’t mean we should encourage them to do it. I WISH I had waited until I was married. That’s one mistake you can never take back.

  3. feministgoddess

    Posted by feministgoddess on January 15, 2014 at 09:02

    From what it sounds, her parents were kind of smothering her with church–it makes sense that she doesn’t want anything to do with it now. That’s fine, it’s her life and her choice. If that’s what makes her feel best, then so be it.

    I get how people can choose not to listen to her because they feel uncomfortable with the fact that she sometimes mentions sex, but I think that overall, she does so in a respectful way. Sex is fine; it’s a part of life, it’s good, it’s natural, it can be healthy. And for the partying aspect, again, a person’s morals are in no way based on drinking or partying.

    I don’t think she’s necessarily sold out, she just writes about what’s real for her. I’m not a fan of her or her genre, but I think that these criticisms are missing the point.

  4. vickysamone

    Posted by vickysamone on December 13, 2013 at 18:30

    ok people i have an update! well now katy perry doesnt believe in heaven or hell or even god sitting on a throne! check out marie claires article on katy perry ! i still like her album PRISM and i thought she saw the light but hearing what she said in this article makes me think the next step for her is becoming atheist honestly.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by opov1 on November 10, 2013 at 16:00

    Well, this may be weird I’m a guy that just logged in to comment on this article. What brought me here is that the praise band at church played “Firework” today. Not a bad message by any means, but it did cause me to consider the source. Frankly, I’m not surprised that so many women, Christian women, rise to defend Katy Perry. The themes in the comments range from the typical “judge not” argument (which is almost always taken out of context) to the fact that Katy does have some songs that do have a good message. The problem I have is that anytime someone thinks critically, it is misinterpreted as “judging.” After all, the title of this blog (and the content) criticizes Katy Perry’s message, and not her personally. No one is trying to “stone” her to death, someone just suggested that parents need to think about the junk their daughters may be digesting. Most people commenting on this blog can’t seem to distinguish between the two. (Read the book of Acts sometime to see some of the disagreements the apostles and church leaders had with each other. They did a lot of “judging” by these standards).

    The fact is, Katy Perry is a talented singer, who is often held up as an inspiration for young girls. There is no doubt her bubblegum sounding music and image is being done to intentionally influence young girls. I have less of a problem with this, than I do with all the mothers, and Christian mothers, that actually encourage this. They get defensive because they like her music, and that’s it.

    I would challenge Christian women to think a bit more critically, as the author of this blog has. What kind of message do you want your girls to believe? To become “strong and self-assured,” able to flip-off God and her parents as she sings slowly in her biographical documentary, “I kissed a girl and I liked it.” Wake up ladies, this girl’s message isn’t good at all. No matter how you try to justify it.

  6. Dancergurl

    Posted by Dancergurl on October 26, 2013 at 19:33

    I’ve been praying for her to find her way back to God. I know that she can’t loose her salvation but I think she just kind of buried it. I also have been praying for her parents. How hard must it be to raise your child in Christ just to have them seemingly turn away?

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Angelcake on October 24, 2013 at 13:17

    I’ve heard her gospel songs and I honestly think that they are way better than the music she creates today. We as Christians are not suppose to be judging people, instead we should help them. At the same time, just because someone declares themselves a Christian doesn’t mean they actually try to live a Christian lifestyle. People know right from wrong but they’re going to do what they want regardless. Katy Perry can say she’s a Christian all she wants to but unless she lives according to the bible, she’s lost to the world until she truly becomes a born-again Christian.

  8. ScooterHam

    Posted by ScooterHam on October 23, 2013 at 19:30

    Once a Christian, always a Christian, whether she acts like it or not. She’s not gonna lose her salvation over some naughty songs that she sings, or for any other reason, for that matter. Her family is still strong in the lord, and she said in her movie that she still loves Him, she just worships “in a different way”. Although I believe some of her songs arent too great, and she dresses immodestly, I think she’ll find the lord again.

  9. KaileePaige5

    Posted by KaileePaige5 on October 23, 2013 at 16:53

    What do you think of her new album? BTW roar from prism helped me through some tough stuff and who am I living for she’s sayings shes confused on who she believes in also on teenage dream #katycat

  10. Project Inspired

    Posted by phil1v21 on October 18, 2013 at 21:46

    Keith Green was a famous rock n’ roll singer then he became a Christian. His heart was completely changed and truly reflected God’s work in his life–Green’s songs are like prayers from the believer which I love. Hopefully, Katy hasn’t become a “[daughter] of perdition” or maybe she wasn’t truly converted? (I don’t really know her background and one can never tell if someone is or isn’t saved.) Prayers for her and for EVERYONE to seek God first <3

  11. MichelleMyBelle

    Posted by MichelleMyBelle on October 11, 2013 at 13:29

    It sounds like she’s being mislead just as you once were, Nicole. She lost her Christian values to be popluar and well liked, yet here we are as Christians critizing her. How about we take those words to pray for her to find her way back to Christ.

  12. kaykatie

    Posted by kaykatie on September 25, 2013 at 18:48

    But think about Roar! That song has to do with letting your voice be heard. Something a lot of people need to do.

  13. All4Godsluv

    Posted by All4Godsluv on September 7, 2013 at 10:31


  14. BrookieCookie

    Posted by BrookieCookie on September 6, 2013 at 15:09

    If she did go back to being a Christian singer, that would be wonderfull!

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ravenheart on September 4, 2013 at 05:03

    She wants to be free. She’s sick and tired of being controlled by her parents and being unhappy… Maybe she just doesn’t believe what her parents does. I mean how would you feel if you are christian and was pushed to believe only Buddhism. You would feel very unhappy, wouldn’t you? And Christianity is about respecting everyone else and having love for them, regardless of who they are. Otherwise you are not a true Christian because there is hate in your heart. Only God can judge so you have no right to tell people what is right and wrong. Katy Perry has a good heart, we all go through tough times where we get “lost”. Don’t we??? jeez… She is probably writing these songs because it is the kind of songs that get record deals and that people listen to, or maybe she is writing it, because she can.

  16. MiSSFloYd

    Posted by MiSSFloYd on August 19, 2013 at 20:23

    my dad knew her dad. he was a PASTOR!!!!!!!! katy sold her soul to the devil. just type it in on youtube and see for yourself. im not allowed to listen to katy perry. i never really liked her music that much anyway. but it was hard deleting her song ET

    • KaileePaige5

      Posted by KaileePaige5 on October 23, 2013 at 16:56

      She never sold her soul to the devil some body edit to make it look like she did look at the REAL interview.

  17. sparklehannah13

    Posted by sparklehannah13 on August 18, 2013 at 15:09

    I didn’t even know she had christian roots! I don’t really like her music.

  18. AutumnSimpson64

    Posted by AutumnSimpson64 on August 17, 2013 at 09:37

    The message some singers put out these days a terrible! Me and my friends have made a commitment that what we are listening to and singing to we really mean! I have only Christian music on my Iphone and has been one of the best desisions i have ever made! Why fill our ears with music about getting wasted an why not songs that we are going to climb this mountian with God with our arms wide open!

  19. pinkkitty523

    Posted by pinkkitty523 on August 6, 2013 at 14:57

    Man that’s really bad I had no idea she was like that (I don’t listen to her that much).

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by i am sweet on July 17, 2013 at 18:58

    soo sad, I just feels like this world is going down the drain. I really do wish she would would go back to her roots… that would make a huge PACT on her listeners…

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ruth_of_Song on July 17, 2013 at 16:09

    I don’t like how today’s music is. I end up listening to movie soundtracks (as in: pure instrumental DreamWorks or Disney). I feel like lyrics like this… are such an insult of the beauty of music.
    I’m not sure if people are actually listening to the lyrics. Quite frankly, I don’t want these images in my head. They’re disturbing and haunting. I’m very frightened as to what the next generation will be growing up with.
    *exhale of anger*
    Alright. Tonight, let’s add another group onto the ever-growing list of Things To Pray For Tonight: those who have lost their way.
    (sorry about the rant)

    • rollerskate27

      Posted by rollerskate27 on October 14, 2013 at 19:19

      You sound just like my best friend! All she has on her itunes is songs from Pocahontas and The Lion King! LOL nice to know she is not the only one! (:

  22. DanieB

    Posted by DanieB on July 14, 2013 at 15:43

    Different music reaches out to different people. Like me I like Christian Contemporary. Not so much on pop or rock for me. BUT! The majority of people listen to pop and rock that’s probably a huge reason why Katy Perry chose to do this type of music.

  23. susi0994

    Posted by susi0994 on July 13, 2013 at 16:48


  24. Project Inspired

    Posted by irishgingerluv on July 12, 2013 at 22:01

    Well i have to say, i do listen to these artist. Music is a passion of mine and i listen to all sorts of bands. Just a few: one direction, the wanted, katty perry, rihanna, rascel flatts. I listen to them all well accept for justin bieber. I find if you listen and really pay attention to the lyrics you feel the emotion and get the true meaning of the song. The songs mean something really important but don’t always come right out and say it. I mean i listen to heavy metal even and love it! But i guess it just depends on who you are and what you think of when you listen to the music. Im not judging anybody i just wanted to say how i feel about it

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by hannah1492 on July 11, 2013 at 21:19

    I havea bit of a love hate relationship with her. I respect her asan artist, but some of her work is a bit…you get the picture. I a, a fan of some of her better songs though. Her song “Wide Awake” has a definete beauty to it and I have listened to a few songs on her Christian label and I find it relatable.

  26. Project Inspired

    Posted by daughteroftheking3 on July 7, 2013 at 14:47

    I’m praying for her

  27. Project Inspired

    Posted by daughteroftheking3 on July 7, 2013 at 14:46

    Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus have some filthy songs out there. I wished that they would just rid them of themselves and turn back to God! Pretty much the only clean song that Katy Perry has is Firework. But that’s all.

  28. PumpkinGirl

    Posted by PumpkinGirl on June 30, 2013 at 10:32

    I was never a real fan of Katy Perry, I was more into Selena Gomez, who I’m scared is going the same way 🙁 we really do need to pray for all the starts in Hollywood, for the ones who sing clean songs that they will stay that way, and for those like Katy Perry, that they will turn to God and see what they are doing!

  29. Windwalker

    Posted by Windwalker on June 25, 2013 at 17:20

    It amazes me that parents allow little kids to watch/listen to these things, and it’s sad that teens and adults get lured into these things. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, even Miley Cyrus, now- they are all shocking. No one asked for my two cents, but here it is anyway. If you want great, fun music, try Britt Nicole, TobyMac, and any/all of the other great Christian artists.

  30. angelina3001

    Posted by angelina3001 on June 15, 2013 at 15:47

    i don’t like katy perry anymore i used to, but i see now that she is not a real role model and Nicole you are a much better role model than her.LOL.

  31. vickysamone

    Posted by vickysamone on June 14, 2013 at 09:52

    we all cant say katy perry sold out cuz it actually took her years to get where she is.i guess with her songs she is trying to be relatable. but i do think the album she made b4 teenage dream was more heart felt.amyways katy was a pk (preachers kid) so she wasnt allowed to do much of anything so thats why her behavior is probley the way it is.but this is why u shouldnt force ur beliefs on ur childeren cuz the end result is rebellion.they need to find why/making the desion of loving and following jesus.However i did love her documentry katy perry par of me 3d. when she writes music, her goal is to make plp smile. i honestly dont hear a lot of secular artist say tht 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by xamazingxgracex on July 12, 2013 at 13:03

      I just want to let you know that I really like what you’ve been saying in these comments… [: that’s all.

      • vickysamone

        Posted by vickysamone on October 8, 2013 at 19:08

        thank u! u know what u said lifted my spirit, made me feel like something i said mattered! i cant wait to buy her new album prism! she let the light in and i hear theres a lot of positivity on it.! so in the end she IS giving some positive messages so i discard wht this article says about her. katy ISNT a raunchy performer so i understand why parents let there kids attend her concerts /events. i think if plp want a role model leave it to miss america NOT pop stars

  32. Project Inspired

    Posted by Angelgirl101 on June 11, 2013 at 05:34

    That is sad she writes songs like that:( Maybe,we should pray for her.

    • angelina3001

      Posted by angelina3001 on June 15, 2013 at 15:43

      me too we should really pray for her.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by JesusFirst247 on June 12, 2013 at 15:17

      Amen. lol I agree Angelgirl101. I don’t think Katy Perry is glorifying God with those lyrics. But we should not condemn her. We should pray for her. She’s just lost in the sauce, but God can give her greater riches and fame. Ones that glorify His name. Her parents are Church ministers, and did not like her release of I kissed a girl. But the prodigal son came back home and by God’s grace she will too.

  33. livingfortheloveofJesus

    Posted by livingfortheloveofJesus on June 3, 2013 at 13:27

    I think you could use a different picture of Katy Perry. What if a girl left this page on her computer and her brother or boyfriend or dad walked in???

  34. KitKat5693

    Posted by KitKat5693 on May 31, 2013 at 10:30

    I hate any of those singers. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, anyone like that, I don’t like those songs. They are not right.

  35. kaityygirl123

    Posted by kaityygirl123 on May 22, 2013 at 08:05

    I admit Katy’s music isn’t the best influence and I like some of her cleaner songs (Firework, The One That Got Away, and Part of Me, Wide Awake). I think those are ok because she isn’t talking about having sex or drinking in those songs. She is a very talented girl…I just wish her songs were cleaner since she has girls of a wide age range listening to them.

  36. rocknrollrebel

    Posted by rocknrollrebel on May 21, 2013 at 06:57

    Ew. I can’t believe how distrubing this is. Any woman that compels young girls to stand in an audience singing, “I wanna see your peacock-cock-cock” is not a good role model.

    • Remedy

      Posted by Remedy on June 14, 2013 at 22:07

      That song is one of the most disturbing songs I’ve ever heard. Absolutely disgusting.

  37. Project Inspired

    Posted by Zeinah on May 14, 2013 at 08:19

    This is Illuminati at work.
    katy perry is one of the many people who sold their soul to the devil in return for fame, fortune, audiance…. etc
    she saw that she wasn’t getting anywhere fast so took the ‘easy’ way.

  38. KBP98

    Posted by KBP98 on May 2, 2013 at 21:12

    Katy Perry is just like everyone else I understand her music is dirty and personally I agree with Nicole’s thoughts, but why can’t we just agree to disagree and move on.

  39. Peacegurl1960

    Posted by Peacegurl1960 on May 2, 2013 at 13:56

    I used to like Katy Perry song I kissed a girl. I thought it was a fun song at first. But then again I am deaf so I don’t hear all the words. When I heard the words I was shocked. I did not think she would make music like that. At first her music was really good now its dirty like lady gaga.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by beatricejett on July 14, 2013 at 22:47

      I like katy perry. her parents are pastors of church. I met them, they arre really nice